A recent communique from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction states that “no amount of alcohol” consumption is healthy and rather is linked to cancer. However, having taken the time to find and read their report, I have to say that their research is limited and the results conflicting, so my opinion is that this warning is a bit over the top.
There is no doubt that alcohol can and does cause many, many problems, but I find this announcement, based as it is on small sample sizes, is sort of temperance-sounding and reminds me of the announcements years ago about barbecued food (among lots of other things) causing cancer.
Almost anything, if taken too far, can be a health risk. I like a good glass of wine, pairing it with meals and adding it to my cooking. Rightly or wrongly, my very French father (my parents had wine with dinner almost every evening) insisted that we children have a tiny glass (shot glass size) of wine with dinner; I was raised with wine (especially red) as a natural and delicious accompaniment to food.
As a result, I was never much interested in the teenage drunks that many of my friends indulged in; I found that whole idea silly and boring. So I think my father had the right idea. Alcohol wasn’t a mystery and it never became a problem.
I’m not going to change my consumption. I live in wine country and love finding great bottles for our cellar. Planning good food and picking the right complimentary wine to go with it is fun and adds to my enjoyment of the meal.
The Okanagan wineries have been very, very busy with harvesting and a careful monitoring of temperatures and heat units. This winery near Osoyoos was in the middle of some observation, likely regarding the progress of this particular field.
We recently did a visit to a nearby winery on the Black Sage bench between Oliver and Osoyoos, British Columbia. This particular area is known for red wine production.
The wine grapes are now reaching their most luscious and will soon be harvested in stages, depending on the processing for the various wines they will become.
Some grapes will remain in the fields until the first frost. Among them are grapes that will be allowed to develop a certain type of “rot” and will be harvested to produce various kinds of dessert wines.
The Okanagan also produces ice wine. This means that the grapes freeze on the vine at temperatures between -1C to -8 C ( 30F – 18F). The frozen grapes are harvested at night and processed quickly so that they don’t defrost to spoil the concentration of sugar in the juice. Ice wine is a type of dessert wine, but is much more concentrated. It’s commonly served with cheese in order to get that lovely sweet/salty flavour combination.
The Okanagan is starting to come into its own as a wine-producing region and is branching out into lesser known varietals that are being handled well. If, like me, you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a nice dessert wine after dinner, a visit to some of the Okanagan’s many wineries might be if interest to you. If not, the scenery, beaches and walking and hiking trails are great!